What’s Wrong with Saving the Day?
Posted June 25, 2012on:
Superheroes are a fact of life. They have many different names and belong to multiple generations.
I watched Superman (the real life actor) on television and my cousin Mark and I battled enemies and avoided kryptonite every day. Batman, Robin and all of their arch enemies came into my living room, were prized action figures and were some of the first books I learned to read.
My son and his sisters were huge He-Man and She-Ra fans and used superpowers to battle Skeletor who lived in Castle Grey Skull. He-Man saved the world by identifying evil and collecting energy to bring about good. Hours of childhood were spent using imagination and emerging skills to organize play scenes, select needed materials & supporting toys and to manage the role play of multiple characters. Star Wars then came into our lives and Luke Skywalker and the Jedi were added to favorite movies, books and play “must-haves”.
My grandchildren have a collection of superheroes that all have amazing powers! While Superman, Batman and Robin are in the cross generation classic mix of “good guys”, there are now many more! Spiderman emerges as an early favorite quickly followed by a host of colorful, amazingly strong and incredible versatile characters with indestructible and very entertaining magical super powers.
And there are common themes;
Children actively play their roles. With great energy and enthusiasm, little children take on their favorite superhero persona. They change their voices to mimic their hero. Children lose themselves in magical worlds of imagination where anything and everything is possible. Not only possible, but believable and necessary! It is important to suspend reality and embrace opportunity.
There is a clear difference between good and evil. There is no question who is good and who is not. Language, visuals, actions and deeds all identify the superhero as good and arch enemies as bad. Play choices reflect the needed conflict for the play scene with roles, dialogue and actions matching what “side” a character is on. Children choose and create the conflict & the resolution.
Children are small and they have the chance to be big. Larger than life characters envelop the child to offer a chance to be tall, strong and able to leap tall buildings, fly through the air, have arms made of steel, the ability to run at lightning speed and swim, breathe & talk underwater. You can change shape to be as big as a mountain or as small as a mouse.
Mostly children are offered the chance to be the hero; a chance to save the day.
And what’s wrong with saving the day?
“This looks like a job for Superman!” Clark Kent
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director